Ho-Ho-Kus November 18, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 3 Rusty Thompson, borough’s first female mayor, dies at 81 by Jennifer Crusco Rusty Thompson, the first woman to serve on the HoHo-Kus Council, and later as the borough’s first female mayor, lost her battle with cancer last week at the age of 81. Thompson was an assistant superintendent in the Bloomfield School District, where her coworkers knew her as “Hazel.” She received a master’s degree in administration from Columbia University, and was employed as an educator for approximately four decades. She joined the Ho-Ho-Kus Council in 1991, where she served until her election to the mayor’s post in November 1995. Thompson ran a contested election that year, winning the mayor’s post despite a strong showing by Independent mayoral candidate Wendy Dockray. When she was sworn in to the mayor’s post in January 1996, Thompson became the immediate successor to Richard Sayers, who opted not to seek reelection, and – perhaps uniquely – succeeded her husband Stuart Thompson, who was mayor from 1976 to 1983. Rusty Thompson remained the borough’s mayor until 2003, when she opted not to seek a new term. Thompson downplayed the gender issue, telling Villadom TIMES after her election in 1995, “Being the first woman mayor of Ho-Ho-Kus is not any different from being the mayor of Ho-Ho-Kus. The responsibilities of this position are the same regardless of gender.” At that time, Thompson said she had been made aware of the commitment involved in the mayor’s post during her husband’s eight years of service. “I know that if my husband were here, he would be thrilled…I would have his total, unqualified support. He was very dedicated to the position himself.” Thompson’s service to the borough also included membership on numerous boards and committees, including the Ho-Ho-Kus Planning Board, Technology Committee, Transit Committee, and Emergency Management Committee. She was a member of the Mayors’ Association, the HoHo-Kus Blood Donors Association, the Boy Scout Troop 54 Committee, the Ho-Ho-Kus Valley Hospital Auxiliary, (continued on page 9) Rusty Thompson ��������������������� T& B ��������������������� Est. 1982 �������������������������������� �� ��������������������������������������� ��������� ������������������������������������� �������� ������� �������������� �������� ��������������������������������� ���������������������������������� ���������������������� ������������������������������ ���������������������������� ����������� �������� ������� ������������ �������������������������� ������������ But STILL can’t lose that Tummy or Cellulite? Call me about VelaShapeTM A NEW Nonsurgical method of Fat reduction and body contouring • Non-invasive • No Anesthesia • No Downtime Beverly Dunn, MD Waldwick, NJ • 201-445-0032 Dieting? Working Out? �������������������������������� ����������������������������������� ������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������ 11-18-09 mike/janine TBConstruction2x2(11-18-09) 2 x 2”